A Touch of Class: The Denali
Total Score: 8.00 -
The Denali Jadewood 843WJ
is the first Denali rod we have had the opportunity to put to our real world
tests. Denali rods have always been kind of mysterious to me, since they are
not a brand you see or hear of everyday. With all models of Denali rods
sporting different types of wood fore grips, they certainly have a unique and
classy look of their own. Their entry level Jadewood series offers both
spinning and casting models from 6'6” up to a 7'6” flipping stick. I was
excited to be able to fish a rod that was entirely new to me and see how it
When I first saw and held the rod, there was definitely some intrigue. While the
Jadewood rods are Denali's entry level series, they have a very basic, yet clean
look to them. The blank is a dark charcoal color, with black wraps and some use
of silver trim around the handle, logo, and first guide.
the Denali Jadewood 843WJ (our test rod had the company's older logo)
are American Tackle Atlas framed ring lock guides with Halide inserts. They are
touted as offering supreme corrosion resistance, while providing the strength
needed if you want to fish braided line. The frames are also beveled on the
inside which helps “lock” the Halide ceramic insert in place, preventing it from
easily popping out.
feature a “quad leg” design for increased strength.
The handle is a split grip design made of EVA foam. It provides both a soft
touch, and a sure grip but lacked a real quality feel. The butt section of the
handle is just long enough to not feel awkward while casting two handed. A
Pacific Bay reel seat with an exposed blank for sensitivity holds the reel
securely. Like the grips, it functioned fine but seemed a bit on the cheap
side. The most noticeable component of the handle section though, and really the
whole rod, is the Jadewood foregrip. It is beautiful and adds a classy look.
The JDM Shimano Scorpion
1000XT looked nice on this stick.
Tip heaviness is something I have become very paranoid about in recent years,
with a big part of that being a result of the recent trend towards split grip
handles. Thankfully, this rod feels very light and well balanced with or
without a reel attached. With my 6.7oz Shimano Scorpion 1000XT attached, the
balancing point was right at the top of the foregrip.
The 843WJ will balance
great with lightweight reels.
Overall, I was satisfied by the look and feel of the rod at this price point.
With that said, I did notice 2 small cosmetic issues when looking over the rod.
First, was that the label area on the rod looked totally different than what I
remember seeing. A quick check on TackleWarehouse.com confirmed my suspicions. In looking online, it seems this was an earlier offering in the Jadewood series,
and the logo area has since been changed to look much fresher and more up to
date. Second, I did find a small drop of epoxy on the outside of the insert of
the second guide. Not a huge deal, but it's nice to have a rod free of these
epoxy drop on the lower right part of the guide insert.
Over the span of a few weeks, I fished the Jadewood on a variety of south
Florida ponds, lakes, and canals targeting Largemouth Bass. To gauge the rod's
power and capabilities more accurately, a variety of baits were used in
conjunction with Sufix monofilament and braided line.
plastics slowly waiting for a strike....
Casting lures throughout the rated range of 3/8-1oz was trouble free. This
rod would not be my first choice for casting 1oz baits all day, but it can
definitely handle the weight. The sweet spot seemed to be from about
3/8-3/4oz. The blank is a fast action as opposed to extra fast, which makes the
rod a bit less crisp, but more versatile. It loads just a little further down
the blank, which makes casting lighter baits slightly easier. The same action
also makes it a good choice for spinnerbaits, lipless cranks around grass, and
medium sized topwaters since it is not overly stiff.
A look at
the tip top guide.
nice thing is that it does still retain enough tip stiffness to cast and
effectively fish a heavier bottom contact bait. It truly is a rod that can
handle a wide variety of baits properly. The balance of this rod with a reel
makes casting even more pleasing. With no tip heavy feeling whatsoever, the rod
was really light in hand and effortless to use!
feels like a true medium heavy fast tapered stick.
Next Section: Sensitivity and Power